As anyone who was ever attempted to write with continuity will know (and those of you who haven't,) at times it is difficult to remain inspired, focused. To keep one's attention on the task ahead, no matter how daunting.
One of the ways that I found my inspiration to keep writing, and keep drawing upon all the experiences I had growing up with my Grandmother, was through my senses. Sight, smell, sound, taste, touch, and even what I call "connectedness." Sometimes, I would cook Korean food to remind me of the delicious aromas of my childhood. This sent me all over various places, looking for unique ingredients found only in Asian supermarkets. Of course, I loved my Grandmother's cooking, and it wasn't only a reminder.. it was delicious food!
But sometimes, I would need even more reality to feel truly connected, after having been separated by so much time and distance. I would stargaze. I often wrote at night, when things were peaceful, calm, quiet. I would open up my shades, open up the window just above the desk where I wrote, and I would gaze up at the stars.
From a very early age, my Grandfather and Babushka taught me how to recognize the stars, their patterns, and constellations. I would gaze up at the beautiful black sky, dotted with a million points of bright lights, and I would dream of her. I would dream of us, talking, laughing, learning, and just being together. Gazing up at those stars, those same stars that we would gaze at together, it brought me closer and closer to the time that she was right beside me, pointing up and teaching.
As you might be able to tell from reading the book, I draw upon not only my memory, but my Grandmother's memory as well, of her parents, her people, her history and how she came to rest on that soil in Russia.
This touching of the senses, my star gazing, is one story of many that I will share with you on this journey.